Scotland's newest Bishop promises "service and friendship".  

The new Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Galloway, Bishop John Cunningham  
Commenting on his Episcopal Ordination as 7th Bishop of Galloway, today said;  

My ordination as the 7th Bishop of Galloway is a moment of great happiness to me. While thanking my family and friends, my former fellow priests and Bishops in the Diocese of Paisley and all those who have helped and supported me throughout my time as a priest, I turn now to the clergy, religious and laity in the Diocese of Galloway and offer them a promise of service and friendship.  

The Code of Canon law (Can: 383 “ 386) makes very clear the role and responsibilities of a Diocesan Bishop, he must;  

˜be solicitous for all Christ s faithful, act with humanity and charity, ¦ ¦(show) special concern for his priests, ¦ ¦.foster vocations and above all, teach and illustrate to the faithful the truths of faith  

I am honoured to accept these responsibilities and will do all in my power to discharge them.  

Bishop Cunningham was ordained by Cardinal Keith O'Brien who in his homily referred to the arrival of St. Ninian at Whithorn 1600 years ago bringing Christianity to Scotland;  

"this Diocese of Galloway is regarded as being the first historically in Scotland, with the year 397 being the one celebrated as the year of the arrival of Ninian in Galloway. The place of Galloway as a recognised diocese in our Catholic Church was recognised at the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1878 “ and Bishop John will be the seventh Bishop of Galloway since that same Restoration."  

Addressing the new Bishop, Cardinal O'Brien added:  

"Along with my brother Bishops, John, I ask you to realise something of the enormity of the task which faces us as leaders in the Christian Church at this present time. We might think that it was easier in the earlier centuries of the Church s history, even back to the time of Ninian, to sow the seeds of the Christian faith among people who had never heard of the wonders of the Christian message. Now we might say that many peoples in our country have listened to the Christian message and have rejected it; perhaps the seeds of Christianity have fallen often on rocky soil in our country.  

We are called upon to re-Christianise Scotland as best we can by our own words, by our own actions. Our apostolate extends to all of the flock given to us: to the young, whether still at school or growing up in an indifferent world; to young people embarking upon marriage and family life without the same standards to live by as those in years past; your message must go out to those who are unemployed and perhaps are struggling to maintain decent standards in their family lives; to those who have come to our shores and who are struggling to establish themselves in our land; to the elderly and the old, to those in indifferent health, to those who are ill and housebound. You must, like those earlier apostles of old, teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in season and out of season, encouraging the faithful to work with you in your apostolic task and listening willingly to what they have to say “ as we are told in the Church s ceremonial for this occasion. And your outreach must extend to those who are not yet of our faith, to those who have not accepted the Christian message."  


Peter Kearney  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  

Notes to editors:  

1.Pope John Paul II has appointed Mgr. John Cunningham as the new Bishop of Galloway on 7 April 2004.

2.The new Bishop-elect succeeds Bishop Maurice Taylor who will retire after 23 years as Bishop.  

3.The Episcopal ordination will take place on Friday 28 May 2004 at 7pm at the Good Shepherd Cathedral in Ayr. The ordaining Bishop will be Cardinal O'Brien as Metropolitan, with the co-consecrators being Bishop Maurice Taylor and Bishop John Mone.  

4. Bishop Cunningham, uniquely, is one of three brothers all of whom were priests in the Diocese of Paisley. His brothers are; Canon Thomas Cunningham, St. Cadoc's, Newton Mearns and Canon James Cunningham, St. James, Renfrew.  

5. A biography of Bishop Cunningham is shown below.  


DOB: 22.2.38  

St. Mary's P.S. 1943-1949  
Blairs College 1949-1954  
St. Peter's College, Cardross 1954-1960  
Scots College, Rome & Gregorian University 1960-1964  

St. Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley 29 June 1961  

(As Assistant)  
Our Lady of Lourdes, Bishopton 1964-1969  
Chaplain to Moredun Convent 1969-1974  
St.Columba's, Renfrew 1974-1986  
Officialis Scottish National Tribunal 1986-1992  

(As Parish Priest)  
St. Patrick's Greenock since 1992  

Vicar General of Diocese of paisley since 1997  
Prelate of Honour since 1999  
Ordained Bishop 28 May 2004  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 85 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Dunkeld Priest to become Spiritual Director of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome

| 24 hours ago | Blogging

Fr James Walls, currently parish priest of St. Pius X parish in Dundee, has been appointed by the Scottish Bishops’ Conference as Spiritual Director of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome.      Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Stephen Robson, the Bishop of Dunkeld said:       “I am absolutely delighted that the Bishops have decided to appoint Father James Walls as spiritual director to the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. As a former Spiritual Director in Rome myself, I can recognise great qualities, spiritual, intellectual and moral in Fr Jim’s priestly ministry.  He has been well trained in spiritual direction and accompaniment, and together with his pastoral experience as parish priest in a large North Dundee Catholic Parish Community, I believe him to be an ideal choice to serve the community of seminarians there and as an effective collaborator with Fr Fitzpatrick the Rector and Fr Parkes the Vice Rector.”        Bishop Robson added;       “Fr Jim will be going to Rome, Salamanca and for training in the USA from the end of May onwards and will take up his new role in September. Fr Jim has my full support and I wish him many blessings and congratulations.”        Reacting to his appointment, Fr. James Walls, said:       “I would like to give thanks to God, and the bishops of Scotland, in appointing me as Spiritual Director in the Scots College. I would also like to give thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for taking my mum into their home; without this generosity, the decision would have been much more difficult. I look forward to getting to know those men who have generously put themselves forward for the priesthood.”       Responding to the appointment, Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick, Rector of the Scots College said:       “I am very grateful to Fr Jim for generously accepting the post of spiritual director here at the Pontifical Scots College. He brings with him his experience of parish ministry, spiritual direction and priestly life. I am sure he will find great joy and fulfilment in his important role of helping the men here in the College discern and prepare for service as priests in Scotland.  As the community gets ready to welcome him, I would also like to thank Fr Mark Cassidy, our departing spiritual director, for his hard work, enthusiasm and positive contribution to our seminarians and to the College during his seven years here. Our prayers are with him as he returns to the Diocese of Dunkeld and I would like to thank Bishop Stephen Robson for his on-going support for the College.”       ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291   Note to Editors:   1. An image of Fr. Walls can be downloaded here:

Scottish bishops offer condolences to Cardinal’s family and friends

| 2 days ago | Blogging

The President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Bishop Joseph Toal have offered their condolences on the death, earlier today (Monday 19 March 2017) of Cardinal Keith O’Brien.     Archbishop Tartaglia said;     “We have received the sad news of the death of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Emeritus Archbishop of  St Andrews & Edinburgh.  On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland I wish to express my sincere sympathy on the death of the late Cardinal to his family and close friends. I ask for prayers for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.”     Bishop Toal said;     “I will pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, who died early this morning – may he rest in God’s peace. I extend my sympathy and prayerful support to his family, friends and all who mourn his passing. With constant hope in the Lord’s goodness and mercy.”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291

Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP

| 3 days ago | Blogging

Death Notice   Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP     At 1am on Monday 19 March 2018, His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne surrounded by family and friends and fortified by the rites of Holy Church. RIP. He was 80 years old.     Commenting upon the news, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: “In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion – in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.” ENDS Notes to Editors: 1.   For more information, contact David Kerr, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, on 07903 621232 m.     2.   Archbishop Leo Cushley will be available for interview at 11am at the Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BB.     3.   CV of Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien: Born at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland, 17 March 1938, educated St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton, Holy Cross Academy, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh (BSc, 1959; Dip.Ed., 1966); St Andrew’s College, Drygrange; ordained priest at Edinburgh, 3rd April 1965, assistant priest, Holy Cross, Edinburgh 1965- 66; St Bride’s, Cowdenbeath and Chaplain to St Columba’s Secondary School 1966-71; St Patrick’s, Kilsyth, 1972-75; St Mary’s, Bathgate 1975-78; spiritual di- rector, St Andrew’s College, Drygrange 1978-80; rector, St Mary’s College, Blairs 1980-85; nominated Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 30 May 1985, and ordained by Cardinal Gordon Gray, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, at Edinburgh, 5 August 1985. Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Argyll & the Isles 1996-99; created Cardinal 21 October 2003. Resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013.     4.   Following a series of allegations relating to his personal life, Cardinal O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013 and issued a media release on 3 March 2013 in which he announced his retirement from public life, stating: “I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland." With the agreement of the Holy See, he subsequently moved to the north of England. 5.  Following an apostolic visitation to Scotland led by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Holy See announced on 20 March 2015 that Pope Francis had "accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the rights and duties of a Cardinal". The Holy See Press Office O'Brien stated that Cardinal O’Brien would not take part in future papal elections, act as papal adviser, or take part in Vatican congregations and councils and would lose other roles of a cardinal. 6.  Funeral arrangements for Cardinal O’Brien are still to be finalised but will be done so in coming days in consultation with the Holy See and Cardinal O’Brien’s family. 7.    Suggested commentators and potential interviewees for the media;       * Ian Dunn, former Editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer. Ian was 10 years with the Scottish Catholic Observer until January 2018. Tel: 07908 871858   * John Deighan, former Parliamentary Officer for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. John worked alongside Cardinal O’Brien for many ...

Civic office requires Christian belief and principle like never before

| 06th March 2018 | Blogging

The abusive criticism aimed at politicians like Elaine Smith and Tim Farron might be enough to put Christians off political office for good, warns Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office in The Scotsman.     This follows recent derision of Elaine Smith’s appointment as shadow cabinet secretary for the eradication of poverty and inequality, which some have claimed is untenable because she voted against the redefinition of marriage in 2014.     Mr Horan echoes Pope Francis’ concerns that there is a sustained and ongoing “persecution” of traditional religion.     “For dissenters like Elaine Smith the persecution tends to take the form of bullying and abuse, some of which is obvious and some of which is a little more insidious”, he writes.     He argues that a secular, allegedly progressive religion has taken hold in Scotland attempting to convince people, particularly the young, that it is the only belief system that guarantees freedom; “that its tolerance knows no bounds. The truth is that it guarantees neither”.        He calls on politicians and people of all faiths and none to return to the basics and recognise “the inherent dignity of the human person and the common good”, and to encourage and support those who sacrifice a much easier life to uphold these values and ideals in public office.   Full text of the Friends of the Scotsman article is copied below.      ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291       Notes to Editors   1. An image of Anthony Horan is available at:   2. Full text:     Friends of the Scotsman by Anthony Horan, Director, Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office     The thought police are on the prowl once again, this time criticising the Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard for giving Elaine Smith the portfolio for the eradication of poverty and inequality. Mr Leonard was challenged publicly on his choice and criticism has inevitably followed.     Elaine Smith, an MSP for Central Region, voted against the redefinition of marriage and this, it seems, is unforgivable. Like Tim Farron, Mrs Smith must now prepare herself for the very real possibility of a distasteful, humiliating and painful public inquisition until she is dethroned from her shadow cabinet post and perhaps even forced out of political office altogether. Her crime was to break from the stifling political orthodoxy by which we are all bound.     Even some politicians have taken to social media to join the throng of critics anxious to question Mr Leonard’s judgement and to attack Mrs Smith. Social media, by its very nature, painlessly facilitates the mob culture, giving it a soap box to spew forth intolerant attitudes with the sole intention of damaging anyone who strays from the orthodoxy. It is, in many respects, a secular progressive religion; its doctrine is fundamentalist, imposing on everyone ridicule and abuse if they do not adhere. This new religion also unashamedly clambers for a favoured place in officialdom, seeking favourable legislation and government policy. But unlike other religions, there is little room for forgiveness. It is a zealous faith and it brooks no dissent.       Pope Francis recently spoke of a “polite persecution” of traditional religion. There is indeed a persecution, but it is not necessarily polite. In fact, it is quite the opposite. For dissenters like Elaine Smith the persecution tends to take the form of bullying and abuse, some of which is obvious and some of which is a little more insidious. But it is bullying nonetheless.       The new orthodoxy simply wants to silence those who might hold a view contrary to its doctrine. For example, Elaine Smith has in the pas...